THROWING 'BOWS.John Edwards took the first direct shots at fellow candidates in tonight's Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire, on the subject of the war supplemental vote -- he said the way in which Obama and Clinton handled the vote illustrated the difference between "being a leader and being a follower" (those two fell in the latter category). Of course, as Edwards had to acknowledge, both Clinton and Obama voted against the post-veto supplemental bill that lacked a withdrawal timetable, so his criticism is reduced to the complaint that they cast that vote "quietly." This seems ... thin.
EMPIRE! There's been some conversation recently about what, exactly, our long-term intentions were and/or continue to be in Iraq -- Josh Marshall has written a few interesting TPMposts on the subject, and of course the president brought the matter into stark relief with his recent comparison of our presence in Iraq to that in South Korea. Kevin Drumdiscusses what had been, for some reason, the issue that dared not speak its name in respectable venues for years after the invasion: permanent U.S. bases in Iraq:
PELOSI VS. HASTERT. In his New York Times web column, Carl Hulseargues that there is a stark contrast between the leadership style of Nancy Pelosi and that of her predecessor Dennis Hastert in that Pelosi seems to have abandoned Hastert's "majority of the majority" doctrine, where only bills that had majority support from the leader's party are pushed. Pelosi broke with that notion in bringing the Iraq supplemental bill to passage. However, that's Hulse's only example.
TODAY IN TAP ONLINE. In his column this week, Terence Samuel discusses the disillusionment of the antiwar movement as one of its iconic figures throws in the towel:
With some effort, the most determinedly optimistic among us may be able to find some upsides to the messy U.S. involvement in Iraq; but, in general, the enterprise has produced more than enough disappointment to go around.
And if anyone is entitled to hers, it's Cindy Sheehan.
LIKE A CAT? Sorry, a bit more Friday-and-unserious blogging: As several fellow TAPPEDers know I shave about once every two weeks and generally sport a scraggly not-quite-beard, but I figured I knew what there was to know about facial hair. But Mitt Romney's kid reports that his beard would "shed"? Beards shed? Is that common knowledge? I guess I gotta go to that museum and learn a thing or two.